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Americas Newsroom

News/Business. Bill Hemmer, Martha MacCallum. News coverage and discussion. New.

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02:00:00

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ac3

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720

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Peterson 12, Us 12, California 11, America 9, Washington 8, U.s. 8, China 7, Pentagon 7, Martha 6, Travis Alexander 5, South Africa 5, Illinois 4, Obama 4, Dr. Buss 4, Steenkamp 4, Stacy Peterson 4, Alan Simpson 4, London 3, Oscar Pistorius 3, Brad 3,
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  FOX News    Americas Newsroom    News/Business. Bill Hemmer, Martha  
   MacCallum. News coverage and discussion. New.  

    February 19, 2013
    6:00 - 8:00am PST  

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delivering whatever the world needs, when it needs it. ♪ after all, what's the point of talking if you don't have something important to say? ♪ my name is taho and i'm a fish guy. it's a labor of love. it's a lot of labor and it's a lot of love. i don't need to go to the gym. my job is my workout. you're shoveling ice all day long. it's rough on the back. it's rough on the shoulders. i get muscle aches all over. advil® is great. pain and soreness is just out of the picture. [ male announcer ] make the switch. take action. take advil®. and for sinus congestion, now you can get advil® combined with a proven decongestant. breathe easier with advil® congestion relief. and as we were looking through the photos i realized there were none of me. and i said something needs to change. weight watchers gives me everything that i could possibly need to be successful. it teaches you how to live in the real world. i don't feel hungry and deprived on weight watchers.
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people say to me, "how can you eat all that and be your size?" i've lost 87 lbs. on weight watchers. so i can be the katie that i knew was there all along. now, she can shine. [ hudson ] introducing the new weight watchers 360 program. built for human nature. join for free and expect amazing. because it works. >> the new issue of natural science says human intelligence is declining. you know what that means? we are seeing congress at its smartest and most effective right now! [ laughter ] >> gretchen: that's scary. the approval rating keeps... . >> steve: eric, we'll be watching you on "the five." maria, thank you very much. we're all going to be in the after the show show. see you tomorrow. the. bill: all right. good morning everyone. fox news alert. because we are down to the wire on the budget cuts looming over washington. we're learning now that president obama will address the american people a bit
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later this morning. we'll cover that live. he will be joined by first-responders whose jobs according to the white house are on the chopping block but will the president offer any last minute deal to avert the cuts? we're waiting to hear more on this coming up here on america' newsroom. this is breaking news. he said it was all an accident. bombshell testimony from "the blade runner" this morning the olympian and double amputee charged with murder in the shooting death of his girlfriend. good morning everybody on a tuesday. welcome back if you were away for the holiday weekend. i'm bill hemmer. welcome to "america's newsroom.". martha: i'm doing well. thank you. what a story. i'm martha maccallum. good morning, everybody. the lawyers for oscar pistorius reading his affidavit this morning. he shot his girlfriend by mistake he claims, pumping four bullets into the bathroom door thinking she climbed in through the window in the bathroom and was a robber. bill: starting to set up his defense as you can tell.
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amy kellogg live in london. what else did we learn in court today, amy. >> reporter: bill, the magistrate in the pretoria court decided this thud be dealt as a schedule 6 case. that means premeditated murder. that means oscar pistorius will unlikely be able to get bail. premeditated, the prosecution said he had to get out of bed, attach his prosthetic legs and walk seven yards to the bathroom where steenkamp, reva steenkamp, was locked in cowering in fear after an argument. pistorius in an affidavit red out today disputes that. he said he went out on the balcony without his prosthetics he claims he has some mobility without them. he wanted to bring in a fan through sliding glass doors. when he came in he thought a robber climbed through the bathroom. grabbed a gun, shot through the door, calling out for reva to call the police. he didn't realize she was in
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the bathroom. he claims today that he did not intend to kill her and he loved her very deeply, bill. bill: how did he react going into court or actually in the courtroom, amy? >> reporter: we had limited images because cameras are not allowed in the courtroom in south africa but people who were inside said that he was sobbing and shaking at times, bill, uncontrollably when reva steenkamp's name was read out, when the description of her death was read out but also he appeared disgusted at times by the allegations against him. further he says, he was quote, mortified by her death. he mentioned in his affidavit that he had even asked her, bill to marry him and she had said yes. finally what we learned today, he claims that he kept that 9mm pistol under his bed because in the past he had recede death threats. this hearing which is a bail hearing adjourned for the day. we'll get going tomorrow.
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we have no guidance how long this will take. the trial may not get started for some time. bill: you say more court tomorrow, for what? >> reporter: well, this is the bail hearing and it was just a morning hearing today. so there will be more discussion about whether or not oscar pistorius should be granted bail in this interim period before the trial starts. it's a trial, bill, by judge and possibly an assess sore or two. they don't have juries in south africa. it is a different system and it will continue tomorrow morning. bill: there are bullet headlines. amy kellogg watching that from london. martha. martha: let's give you more context on premeditated murder charges in south africa. their murder is defined as the unlawful, intentional killing of another human being. if he is convicted pistorius face as mandatory life sentence, though under south african law he would be eligible for parole in 25 years at the latest.
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south africa abolished the death penalty in 1995. so as this hearing plays out in court friend and family of pistorius's girlfriend reva steenkamp gathered to say their find al good-bye to her. about 100 people attended a private funeral service holding hand and carrying flowers. some called for pistorius to remain in jail, others like her brother chose to focus on steenkamps life. >> everyone is sad understandably but at a certain point we were smiling remembering reva dawes we only have good memories of her. that is what we were thinking. bill: steenkamp's uncle that she was an activist for ending violence, ironically against women. the couple was together just a relatively short time. in november of 2012 pistorius was first seen with steenkamp at an awards
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ceremony. she claimed they were just friends at the time. february 9th steenkamp used her twitter account to speak out against violence against women. three days later the south african model told a local paper that pistorius was impeccable man who always has her best interest at heart. 1:00 a.m. valentine's day police responding to a call about a domestic disturbance at pistorius's mansion. a short time later steenkamp was found shot to death inside that same home. martha: all right. switching gears now for a moment to take a look at the skyrocketing prices of gas. the cost of fueling up your car going up again. the 33rd day in a row of rising prices. according to aaa since the start of 2013 the average price of a gallon of gasoline has jumped 46 cents. 3.29, up to $3.75. you can see the steady climb on that chart. so the big question is in the middle of february why would gas prices be rising now when they're
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traditionally on a downtrend in the middle of the winter? stuart varney, host of "varney & company" on the fox business network. stuart, i pose that question to you. why? >> martha, most of the blame is going to the blending operations that refiners have to go through at this time of year. bear in mind there are 100 different blends of gasoline mandated across america. and when refiners switch from their winter to their summer blend, the refiners go out of business just for a couple of days maybe. but at that takes gas off the market and up goes the price. it also interferes with the free flow of supply and demand. you can have adjacent counties in america where they have to have different blends of gasoline. so a shortage on one side of the line can not be made up with extra supply on other side because they have got these different blends. so at the moment a lot of blame goes to the blending and the multiple blends that we have to have in america. you could also look at the underlying price of oil. it has gone up about ten a
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barrel this year or from late last year, ten a barrel higher. there is also this ongoing turmoil in the middle east. it never seems to settle down right in the middle of the oil patch. so oil prices stay, 95, 96, $97 a barrel. up goes the price of gas, martha. that's what's happening. martha: once we get through the blend period which you're pointing out is always a little upward pressure on prices and even more so in this case because of all the underlying factors that you mentioned what does it mean as we get closer to the summer season? higher i imagine. >> that is it when gas prices traditionally go up, we drive more and demand goes up and we use the summer blends. most analysts suggest we'll get much closer to the $4 a gallon. maybe we'll go over that, nobody really knows but we'll get closer to $4 a actual -- a gallon. california, regular averages $4.17 a gallon. illinois, connecticut and new york are very close to
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the $4 mark. we have a ways to go with the spike and it is having an impact on the economy. i have an economist on my program shortly who says every penny up for gas takes $1.2 billion out of the economy. add that up, you have a 50, $60 billion hit to the economy this year already. martha: that's a tough picture. quickly, stuart, what about the keystone impact? >> no impact on immediate pricing, none at all. that decision is being delaid. we don't know yet whether we'll build that pipeline or not. there will be almost certainly no impact on the price of gasoline in the immediate future because of that keystone decision. martha: that will take a little while. stuart, thank you so much. we'll see you later. bill: you're right. you said we're talking about this in may. martha: yeah. bill: it is mid-february. i filled you, over four bucks a gallon in new york already this weekend. martha: hang in there. hang in there. bill: we're just getting moving here. new details on a massive hacking assault linked back to beijing directly.
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why the communist nation hacked u.s. companies and what they might have stolen in the process. we'll have that for you. bill: charles krauthamer says it is the biggest nonstory with the kardashian wedding but the white house press corps is disagreeing. presidential round of golf has journalists crying four. that is old picture of them in the oval office. bill: pentagon cuts set to kick in next couple days if no deal is reached by congress. a new plan is being offered. it is breaking whom and it is by whom that makes it significant. ♪ (train horn) vo: wherever our trains go,
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martha: investigators now know what caused a power loss that crippled the carnival cruise ship and left 4,000 people stranded on board for five days which is well-documented here over the course of the last week. it was a leaky fuel line to blame for that fire that knocked out the power on the triumph as it is called ironically. the incident that followed
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was, closely followed of course and was, the whole thing was toad into a port in alabama friday evening. passengers described filthy conditions on board, including sewage in the showers? do we need to think about that? toilets overflowing. we detailed that. it was gross. i will live it at that. bill: ten hours to mobile. there is breaking news now from washington on a plan to announce to avoid drastic cuts to kick in at the end of this month. erskine bowles and alan simpson of the famed debt committee, they put a new table, a new plan rather on the table that not only cuts the deficit by $2.5 trillion but tries to find common ground between democrats, republicans and the white house. alan simpson moments ago on what president obama must do. >> he knows what to do and if he doesn't get a handle on entitlements and solvency
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of social security he will have a failed presidency. and if he wants to have a leg gasy of the -- legacy, the new fdr, the second, whatever drives him, that is fine with me, but he will have a failed presidency unless he deals honestly with the entitlements programs without cutting, you know, the poor and the wretched and all the wrest and all this stuff. bill: i don't know if he is the lone ranger but that is some plain talk. stephen hayes, senior writer, "weekly standard", fox news contributor. good morning to you. new proposal as it stands, cut $600 billion from medicare and medicaid. raise $600 billion in new tax revenue. 1.2 doll trillion in other cuts which there are many. that is what is proposed as of 8:30 this morning, 45 minutes ago. take it. what's up? >> sort of an updated version what they had proposed before incorporating the kinds of things that have happened over the last
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year-and-a-half with tax rates, higher tax rates, tax changes. look, i think, what alan simpson says is true in the broadest sense. if the president doesn't deal with medicare reform, doesn't deal with entitlements, you know, i think he will have a failed presidency. i don't think that is too strong a thing to say. what people in washington and people in the press corps has missed, jay carney, very quietly ten days ago in one of the white house press briefings basically took off the table the idea that we would raise the eligibility age for medicare that is huge thing to take off the table. one of the things discussed in the context of a grand bargain in 2011, if that's gone and democrats in congress are still resistant to these kind of structural reforms of entitlement programs i don't think we'll see anything. that is huge problem for the country and huge problem in terms of our debt. bill: from the perspective in new york, seems folks in washington are running for cover. i don't know if simpson and bowles came out to provide the cover they need.
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but the president will talk in about 90 minutes from now. what does he say? what does he do? if anything at this late hour? >> well the president wants to make the case that we need to avoid the sequester cuts at all costs. this is the first, of what i expect to be a series of these kind of presentations where the president comes out and points to areas in which the average american citizen will feel the impact of sequester cuts. today he is focusing on first-responders. but we have to understand, this is a dramatic change for the president of the united states who back in november of 2011 threatened to veto any attempt to avoid the sequester cut. so today he is saying they x2líyz#fbín
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wanting to he is press the president on spending cuts but at the same time, wanting some of them to avoid sequester cuts to the military and to defend defense spending. bill: bya, because you asked. we've been asking viewers questions and carl said of buffalo grove, illinois. i hear about military cuts but domestic programs have similar cuts. which programs is the white house willing and ready to cut? this goes to your second answer. has the white house ever stated what cuts it is willing to accept? >> no. this is what is interesting. senate democrats made some progress last week in putting out a proposal that would have set, that would have tried to offset the sequester cuts. house republicans passed
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something like that twice, going back almost a year now. senate democrats got into the game last week. they have a combination of additional tax hikes, cutting loop hose and some spending cuts mostly on the military side. the white house seems willing if not eager to cut on the military and defense side of things. much less willing to cut on the domestic discretionary. bill: that a good point, a good distinction. steve, thank you. while see what happens in the white house. >> anytime, bill. bill: we'll see what happens the 1st of march. stephen hayes in d.c. those at home, hemmer@foxnews.com is the e-mail. twitter follow me @billhemmer. one line in the form of a question. because you asked, bya, fire up. there is a lot to talk about with all this happened today. lines are open as we say, martha. martha: you remember the name drew peterson. bill: i do? martha: covered that story a long time. he is the ex-policeman that kept losing his wives. what a bad situation those
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women were in. the sentencing day as court gets going in the next hour. does he have one more trick up his sleeve that can get him off the charges? we'll talk about that. bill: tens of millions of diamond stolen in broad daylight. how brazen thieves pulled off this heist. [ woman ] ring. ring. progresso. your soups are so awesomely delicious my husband and i can't stop eating 'em! what's...that... on your head? can curlers! tomato basil, potato with bacon... we've got a lot of empty cans. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. a body at rest tends to stay at rest... while a body in motion tends to stay in motion. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult.
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it. >> here now a happy homecoming. san diego, california,. more than 200 marines and sailors return from a year long deployment in afghanistan. the cameras capturing so many heartwarming moments as fathers and daughters reunited and husband and wives are able to hug again. >> my dad's coming home today and we decided to blow up a head of him in case he forgot what he looks like. >> happy to be back with them. they took care of everything
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for me. they're a beautiful family. hard to be away from them a day let alone a year. happy to be back. >> grateful and happy. grateful and happy. to have my actual siblings here is blessing. bill: for a year the marines and sailors were responsible for critical missions getting troops safely in and out of the combat zone in afghanistan. welcome home. martha: there is new twist in the drew peterson murder trial if you can believe it. it is still going on. remember all this? in the next hour peterson's lawyer will argue he deserves a new trial because his last attorney botched the case for him. that is the argument. the judge rejects that motion, then peterson will go directly to the sentencing phase in the murder of his third wife, kathleen savio, you see in the third box there. he is also as you remember, a suspect in his fourth wife's disappearance. stacy peterson. her body was never found. steve brown joins us from
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joliet, illinois, where he is spending the day. what call did the lead attorney make that really hurt peterson's defense is he arguing? >> reporter: well the argument is that joel brodsky, the lead attorney for the peterson defense team, against the advice of co-counsel, made a call on calling a witness when they were presenting their case and that witness was the divorce attorney of stacy peterson, a man by the name of harry smith. smith had previously been barred talking about certain conversations he had with stacy peterson. once he was on the stand, he said that, stacy peterson approached him about getting a divorce, she mentioned that her husband, drew peterson, had killed his third wife kathleen savio, a major turning point in the case. now one of the peterson defense team lawyers says, based on that error, calling that attorney, that peterson deserves a new trial. >> i'm not going to not do
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something because it will offend somebody or hurt somebody's feelings. i'm not like that. i'm doing what i have to do. what i have to do right now is to point out where the case was blown and the case was blown by joel brodsky. >> reporter: the juror said smith's testimony was a key factor getting that conviction. martha? martha: very interesting. what are his chances getting a new trial, steve? >> reporter: most experts think it was a longshot, it was compellingly, perhaps bad error on behalf of the defense team it still is not likely to result in a new trial. largely because while you're guaranteed a defense, you're not guaranteed a perfect defense and there are six attorneys working on this case and joel brodsky was just one of those six attorneys. so, it's probably an uphill climb for the peterson team. martha. martha: great point. thank you so much. steve brown. we'll be watching that in joliet, illinois. bill: sure will next hour. grand attack.
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new information on a massive cyber assault that originated in beijing, china. martha: plus they call hum the man who made the nba cool again. remembering the life of legendary l.a. lakers owner jerry buss. >> it was a team that he wanted to see play a certain way, showtime. he wanted fun times. didn't want teams walking down the court. didn't like it. ♪ if loving you is wrong
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thank you so much. i appreciate it. i'll be right back. they didn't take a dime. how much in fees does your bank take to watch your money? if your bank takes more money than a stranger, you need an ally. ally bank. your money needs an ally. martha: big story today. china's military is now being linked to a group
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that's responsible for at least 140 hacking attempts, targeting u.s. companies. now this new report says these hackers have stolen information from 100 targets in the united states. it reportedly includes things like blueprints, details on protecting the creative content, pricing documents, contact lists but that's not the worst of it really. let's talk this with ambassador john bolton, former u.s. ambassador to the u.n. and a fox news contributor. good morning, ambassador. good to have you here. >> good morning, martha. martha: one of the most shocking, the two main headlines here are this new study that just came out is linking it to the chinese army. the chinese government of course has denied there is any connection with any of these hacking attempts or successes in the government. this says there is. also it says while they spent a lot of time on companies like coca-cola and the like trying to steal corporate secrets, what they're seeing is big focus
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on electrical power grids, gas lines in the united states, water works. one target was a company with a remote access to 60% of the oil and gas pipelines in north america. what do you think about all this? >> this report is the latest in a long line of studies, some private, some by our pentagon that have pointed the finger at the peoples liberation army in china as the source of literally thousands of cyber warfare attacks on private american companies and of course on the government. this has been going on for a long time. china has the most advanced cyber warfare capability in the world and they're doing a lot, i'm sure we're not even aware of the bulk of what they're doing. they're trying to penetrate defenses. perhaps they're trying to steal data. perhaps they're trying to insert false data. perhaps they're trying to affect operations. perhaps they're leaving cookies behind that can affect information systems behavior later. this is a very serious problem. i think we're working on it but let's be clear.
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we're behind and we have a long way to go to catch up. martha: this is very scary stuff and they trace it back to one building on the outskirts of shanghai, unit 31698. sounds like something from a spy movie. but when you talk about it in those terms, ambassador, going after pipelines, you think about how technical our warfare has become, with drones and all of this, everything, so much computer orchestrated and you say we are behind, we put out a report. let's put up a full screen. last week we talked about this. our defense capability will be surpassed by china terms of the amount of money we spend on it is a better way to say it in 2035. what do we do to catch up in this whole cyber area? >> well i think the first thing to understand this is not a battlefield that replaces existing potential areas of conflict. this is something new. so, at a time when we're happily cutting our defense budget we should be going in
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precisely the opposite direction and i think really reflects of the structure of power inside china. the peoples liberation army is the dominant political force within the communist party and the communist party remains the dominant force in china. we need to do a lot technically. we need to have a ladder of escalation in policy terms as well. you know, what is just mischief, kids throwing rocks through windows? what is criminal behavior, what are espionage and what are acts of war? how do we respond at each of those levels. we need a lot more national focus. if congress comes back anytime soon ought to be getting to work on it as well. martha: you think about sort of the whole defense discussion that's going on and perhaps there are areas in defense where some spending could be cut back. but you do wish, when you read this article, and there are people who are sort of screaming about this from the rafters, that is was more, that it was a bigger push and we're really working to understand the future the threats against our country.
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>> yeah, absolutely. adam smith said the first duty of the sovereign is to prosecond the -- protect the society against the threats of others. what the chinese computer attacks are showing the warfare of the future could look like. no matter how severe the budget circumstances as ronald reagan said, defense is not a budget item. it is critical to our future security. martha: ambassador john bolton, thank you very much. thanks for he weighing in on it. >> thank you, martha he was one of the most successful team owners we've ever seen in the world of sports. the l.a. lakers jerry buss passed away yesterday after spending much of the last 18 months battling cancer. his team won the nba title a remarkable ten times during his tenure. fox's jim gray sitting down with team legend jerry west who spoke how buss changed the game. >> to watch it grow where it is today and the brand it has really it is under his
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stewardship. the thing that he wanted changed, the differ things that he put into a basketball entity, it changed the scope of all the leagues. this is a man who was an innovator, trust me, he was a real innovator. we used to talk all the time and we talked about sports but he talked about entertainment. there was a team he wanted to see play a certain way, "showtime". he wanted fun times. didn't want teams that walked the ball up and down the court. didn't like it. bill: that was across all professional sports teams. sports broadcaster and jim gray is here. good morning to you. what is his legacy early on about his life? >> he changed complexity of the sports. he invented. special seats. he made it fashionable for celebrities to come to the game.
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he was a showman. he changed the complexity basketball was in terms of entertainment, grew it as a global game. wasn't just concerned winning the game but wanted it to be appealing to fans. he was a brilliant, brilliant man. much of the growth of the nba is because of him. bill: shaquille o'neal sent this tweet out. i'm deeply saddened over the loss of the great dr. jerry buss. he was a dear friend, mentor and brilliant business mind. thank you for eight great years. magic johnson who had such a long-standing relationship with him, tweets this. this is a great loss for the laker nation. first legendary chick hearn and now my second dad, the beloved dr. jerry buss. i love you, dr. buss. that relationship with magic johnson, especially it was so public with hiv, going back to the late '80s and early '90s. that was a relationship that played out quite publicly, jim. >> it sure did. dr. buss was the beneficiary of that.
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jack kent cooke brought magic johnson here. he took over right as magic was first to play. he went to the finals 16 times. he was visionary. he ran it like a mom-and-pop store. he was accessible but he let the stars shine. he could talk to dr. buss anytime. he covered the man. he wanted others to be in the forefront. he stayed in the background. when i say he ran it like a mom-and-pop store, the last deal he completed, this man grew up in wyoming and had to wait in line for food. he had absolutely nothing and grew this thing. the final deal he closed was a $3 billion television deal with time warner. he put all of his money back into the team. he put all the money back into the team so the team would flourish. bill: jerry west talked about entertainment and he realized entaintment had to be a part of the game in order to sell it. but here is jerry west
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talking how it was a global sport as well according to buss. roll this. >> the lakers are the franchise in the nba and i'm not sure that people will ever be able so realize just how important his presence was here and more importantly, what he did for the game. he did help make it a global game. he did help sell this game worldwide. and it was because of what he wanted to, from his players and what demanded from his players. and that was to play the game at a very high pace, a level that most teams couldn't do. and, and, be willing to pay for the players to do that. bill: when you think about basketball, in a global sense, perhaps you could argue, jim, it has never been so popular, would you? >> it is at its height. if you look what went on at the olympics, we had team usa playing the dream team again and that was the tough i've ticket in london, over
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hussein bolt, over michael phelps. the games were not competitive. it is the biggest game across the world that is american-born and dr. buss, the thing about him, he loved to play pool. he loved to play poker. he was flamboyant. you would always see young girls with him. he was unapologetic the way he lived his life and everybody who left dr. buss left having felt better about the experience. better about being around him and better about being around yourself of this is a wonderful gay. very rare when you have all of the whole confluence of events that would combine to see the success and have virtually many everybody like this guy, bill. it was a remarkable, remarkable run. bill: that's a full life. that's a full 80 years. our best to his family. thank you, to jim gray out of l.a. thank you, jim. >> thank you, bill. martha: let's get a look at the markets this morning. not a whole lot of action. up four and change today. investors are keeping close
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tabs on a number of possible major merger deals out there including new reports that are circulating that office depot and officemax may be in discussions to team up. the market was closed yesterday of course. looks like they're shaking off the president's day holiday down there on wall street. we'll keep a close eye on that throughout the show. bill: 14,000 is still there. >> got to bump up against it. it will be tough. bill: the white house press corps is creaming mad. leading republican says it is no big deal. well is it? we'll debate it next. martha: you heard about this one? a megamillion dollar heist like something right out of a movie. details on this brazen robbery as a gang of thieves makes off with $50 million of diamonds. great story. ♪ . aw this is tragic man, investors just like you
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bill: the white house facing a new round of complaints after president obama shut down reporters out of his vacation golf game with tiger woods. fox news's ed henry, speaking at his role as white house correspondents association said, it is not about golf, but about transparency and access in a broader sense. syndicated columnist charles krauthamer says he doesn't see the big deal here shutting out the press. >> it is a trivial issue. the guy wants to play golf. the guy deserves a couple days off. he wants privacy. big deal. this is the biggest nonmedia, nonstory that the media have created since the kardashian weddings. bill: we know how that worked out. brad blakeman, former deputy assistant president george w. bush and bob beckel, former campaign manager, co-host of "the five." welcome to both of you. in your corners.
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here we go. brad, who is right? is this a big deal or not. >> this is big deal because it is systemic at the white house what the president will permit the press to cover and what they won't. the press is more interested in getting a picture and photo-op with tiger woods than they are getting to the bottom of benghazi and "fast and furious." the white house determined what they will cover and what they won't. until the press corps pushes back they're the on butts men of the american people. bill: you see obvious contradiction with the whole claim of transparency going back to 2009. >> is you are. bill: bob, is this a big deal or not? which side do you come down. >> it is a golf game. anybody has a chance to play 18 holes with tiger woods and ought to be able to do it and do it privately. here is the problem here. the while house press corps has been outmaneuvered because obama white house does not need the press corps the way other presidents have, because they have other platforms to get their message out and that is something the
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white house press corps will have it accept. they have learned this through the campaign. they adopted the same strategy in the white house. why in the world can the guy play golf for 18 holes? bill: you can play golf. nobody is saying you can't play golf but question is whether or not there is access. satisfy the folks at white house, press corps follows him around 24 hours a day, put out a simple image. what harm would that cause? >> bill, here's the bottom line. if the president were proud to be playing golf with tiger woods, a tiger woods of four years ago, you could bet that the press would be all over that golf course and the press would have at least access. bill: what are you saying? >> the fact is that the president playing golf with a it did bag and he doesn't want to be seen with him. that is why the press corps is shut out. >> he is number two bofler in the world. the other thing, to take the pressure off they probably should have given a photo-opportunity to the press corps instead of sitting outside in a van somewhere. but the fact of the matter is, has nothing to do woods andt
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experiences and all that. this has everything to do with obama wanting to get couple days off to play golf. everybody ought to get use to it. the president has right to do that. bill: brad? >> a few rounds of golf he will qualify for a pga card. bill: we don't think he has got that good, do we? here is the big issue for folks like our colleague ed henry. andrea mitchell, nbc news reports the white house made a commitment to have a small group of reporters following the president everywhere he goes. all this blew up in florida over the weekend because they found out about it on twitter. so then you wonder about the question about transparency. and then you understand henry's point. give just a little glimpse as to what's going on. >> there was a guy from "golf digest" sitting in the clubhouse. that is how they got that. bill: that might have been the only way? are you okay with that. >> yeah, i'm okay. when george bush played golf
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not as well as obama, -- >> not as often. >> not as often, that's true. the fact is, that bush never allowed the press to follow him around the golf course. >> that is not true. that is not true. bill: hang on, brad. is that true or not? >> no, that is not true. as a matter of fact bush was cognizant of the fact that the press corps had to go with him on all his outings as a matter of, it is not a matter of law but -- >> are you telling me -- >> after the assassination attempt on president -- >> bush allowed him to follow him around 18 holes? >> no he doesn't. gave him enough access on one or two, or three holes they were satisfied and went back to file the story. bill: nobody is arguing go tag along for four here's and see all 18 holes. they were looking for a glimpse. in the end i think the reaction you're getting from the right and left is very interesting on this. thank you. >> also i think they should have, they should have given him the tee. bill: bob, thank you, see you at 5:00. brad, see you soon.
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>> thanks. bill: thank you, gentlemen. martha, what's next. martha: very interesting. we have more dramatic testimony in the trial of jodi arias. have you heard about this one? prosecutors say he killed her boyfriend because he broke up with her. she claims it was self-defense. she changed her story over and over. they played this long sex phone tape thing. we're back with more on that. bill: it is too early for a summer getaway for the summer driving season. why are gas prices rocketing up now, up for 33 straight days? new honey bunches of oats greek yogurt and whole grain. here we go. honey cornflakes and chunks of greek yogurt. i'm tasting both the yogurt and the honey at the same time. i'm like digging this yogurt thing. i feel healthy. new honey bunches of oats greek.
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overmany discounts to thine customers! [old english accent] safe driver, multi-car, paid in full -- a most fulsome bounty indeed, lord jamie. thou cometh and we thy saveth! what are you doing? we doth offer so many discounts, we have some to spare. oh, you have any of those homeowners discounts? here we go. thank you. he took my shield, my lady. these are troubling times in the kingdom. more discounts than we knoweth what to do with. now that's progressive.
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bill: police are on the hunt for eight armed robbers stealing an estimated $50 million in diamonds. two cars, get this, crashing through a fence at brussels
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international airport. the robbers then drove right up to a swiss-bound passenger plane, flashed their weapons, took the loot right out of the cargo hold on board. without firing a shot they drove off into the darkness of the night. the entire heist lasted a total of three minutes. martha: i feel a movie coming on. bill: the first person you question is airport security, right? martha: i think that would be a good place to start. all right. so that is one tantalizing crime scene out there. now to another one. jodi arias is the woman's name you see on the right-hand side of the screen. she is expected to be on the stand for day seven in the murder trial of her ex-boyfriend, travis alexander. the 32-year-old is on trial for killing her one-time boyfriend in 2008. her appearance has changed dramatically since those days. here she is on the left side. screen and the on the right side what she looks like in terms of before and after. there she is in court on the right-hand side.
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joined by vicky ward, fox news contributor. she is following this trial in phoenix. vicki, good morning. >> good morningsing, martha. martha: there are crazy salacious details in all this. where does it stand now? >> reporter: today, martha, is day 7 for jodi arias on the witness stand. so far she has only taken questions from her own defense team. when things wrapped up last week, the jury was hearing about what happened back in may 2008. that's one month before the night she admits she brutally killed ex-boyfriend travis alexander. she claims this was in self-defense. last week, travis alexander was described to the jury as an obsessive boyfriend whom arias was obsessed with. we also heard graphic details about the couple's sex life. but for the defense, the pivotal testimony is still ahead. everyone is waiting to hear
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jodi arias describe what happened the night travis alexander was stabbed 27 times, had his throat slit and was shot in the head, martha. >> boy, what an unbelievable story. i mean when you detail exactly how he was brutally murdered, self-defense is a very high bar to climb here. so what everybody is looking forward to of course is when the prosecutor gets in there to cross-examine this witness in this case. when do you think that will start, and what do you expect? >> it's hard to say, martha. this defense is moving very, very, slowly. in fact, they have even gone back to jody alexander's trial testimony, outlining a pattern of alleged abusive relationships before travis. when the cross-examination does start. they have a lot to focus on. arias has changed her story three times since being arrested, only confessing to the killing at the start of this trial. the prosecution has dna
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evidence that puts jody arias at the murder scene. and martha, witnesses said that travis alexander was trying to move on without her in his life when it ended. martha: what a story. vicki, thank you so much. we look forward to hearing from you again on this thank you. vicky ward in phoenix. bill: that case continues. in a moment here why young americans are crying foul over obamacare after getting the bill. martha: ouch. can help lower cholesterol? and it tastes good? sure does! wow. it's the honey, it makes it taste so... well, would you look at the time... what's the rush? be happy. be healthy.
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martha: all right. fox news alert. we're waiting right now for the president to speak on the across the board budget cuts now just days away. he is expected to put pressure on congress to make a deal before billions of dollars of cuts go into effect and thousands of jobs, most folks believe, would be lost as a result of that. so the pressure is on in terms of the timing here and we start a brand new hour right now of "america's newsroom." glad to have you with us this morning, everybody.
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i'm martha maccallum. bill: i'm bill hemmer. good morning at home. president obama we know will be joined by first-responders, who we are told some of those jobs could be on the line according to the white house. right now there is no compromise with ten days to go. no compromise in sight. martha: senior white house foreign affairs correspondent wendell goler joins me live from the white house. what does the president hope to achieve in this statement today, wendell. >> reporter: president wants to reach an agreement, at least buy some time for that. republicans say pressuring is not the same as negotiating with them. the first-responders will rely on federal aid to state and local governments, part of $85 billion in government spending would have to be cut unless a deal is reached. mr. obama said this weekend he agrees the deficit has to be cut. >> i disagree with republican who is think we should do that by making even bigger cuts to things like education and job training or medicare and social security benefits. that would force our senior
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citizens and working families to bear the burden of deficit reduction while the wealthiest are asked to do nothing more. that won't work. >> reporter: republicans say they agree the so-called sequester is a bad way to cut spending but the president won't agree with the cuts they want which they say won't threaten security, or the economy, martha. martha: sounds like a whole lot of progress being made so far. the simpson-bowles commission, wendell, became famous outlining a lot prove he proposals many folks did like. they came out with a new proposal. how is that being received? >> reporter: apparently not anymore warmly than the first proposal. the new plan asks the white house to agree on $600 billion in health care savings that is 200 billion more than the president wants. it calls for $600 billion in new tax revenue which republicans want to use to lower tax rates instead of lowering the deficit. former white house chief of staff erskine bowles says the two sides were close
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last year and ultimately each will have to give. >> if in fact we're actually going to get a bipartisan deal that we're going to push both sides to get out of their comfort zone and to make the kind of compromises we need to make to get something done. >> reporter: former wyoming republican senator alan simpson says the sequester can't possibly work. he says both health care spending and social security are unsustainable in their current form, martha? martha: down this road before. wendell, thank you very much. wendell goler at the white house. bill: given all of this though, the long-term spending reductions don't really do that much especially compared to the amount of deficit spending the past four years. the entire amount of the spending reduction proposed is $1.2 trillion over ten years. that is about what the government spends in just one year and just a drop in the bucket when you compare to the massive federal deficit, $16.5 trillion now and counting. martha: yeah. it is a drop in the bucket
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and it was designed to make sure they would come to some agreement that they're talking about this pressure must lead them to know. so you feel like you've been down this road many times. in fact the pentagon budget would have a ripple effect in terms of the cuts it would receive. that would cause layoffs in the private sector they're saying. defense contractors are prepared to lay off thousands of workers as a result including technicians that work on aircraft, ships and other military vehicles. one analyst suggests that 1.2 million subcontractor jobs would be lost before all is said and done. bill: gas prices, they are up yet again. aaa says the costs have been rising every day for the past 32 straight days. national average, gallon of regular, $3.75. it is mid-february, folks. california is seeing the worst of it. statewide average there, $4.17 a gallon. that is where adam housley is driving out there today. he is at a gas station in santa monica, california. how high is it where you are
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behind you, adam? >> reporter: we're going to walk, bill, we're not going to drive for next couple weeks until gas prices come back down. we were out here in the summertime when gas prices were like this behind me. 4.99 for regular. 5.09 for premium. gas prices in california are consistently in the fives. no one expected this in the middle of february and in the middle winter. we putnam members together for you how high prices have gotten across the country. 33 straight days according to aaa. hawaii is the high left. but here in the contiguous 48, california, 4.16. d.c., 3.94. michigan,.91. indiana, 3.86. prices are significantly higher than you normally see this time of year. that is an increase over the lastmont. look since january 17th. back then it was $3.29 a gallon. now $3.74 a gallon. that is up 1%.
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significant rises. bill, we're being tell, don't expect these prices to come down here quickly. bill: what are you hearing from consumers? are they getting used to this or are they ticked off, rter: in california they're used to it. a lot of people didn't realize, you don't drives a much in the summertime even in the california car culture. i didn't notice it until over the weekend, wait a second, these prices just spiked. when you talked to consumers some are extremely upset. some are like myself. thinking about it now, and realizing that it has gone up. take a listen. >> i think it is a form of extortion. i drive for a living. >> i notice getting less in my paychecks and then having to deal with higher gas prices. i need a bike really. >> it has gone up dramatically i think in the last few days. >> i don't know what is going on but it is out of our hands. >> seems like, oil companies are making some pretty good cash. >> reporter: now there are a number of reasons people are blaming for this.
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refineries off-line for maintenance in the wintertime. global demand has gone up significantly. even superstorm sandy taken a couple refineries off-line. whatever the reason, bill, prices are here like we've not seen in the winter, looking at them if we saw last summer when people were complaining. you can bet when the normal price increase begins for summer driving season begins in april. if they're starting in here, you're talking about gas prices in california could reach well into the sixes in california. bill: thank you, adam housley there, santa monica, california. martha: this is big news this morning. the u.s. is now for the first time selling drones to the united arab emirates, the u.a.e. this is particular concern. this is the first time we've seen a sale to the middle east and u.a.e. is very close to iran although it is an ally. national security correspondent jennifer griffin joins us live from the pentagon. what is going on with this, jennifer? >> reporter: martha, saudi arabia and the united arab emirates have been
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asking some time to buy the remotely-powered aircraft, known as drones. it wasn't until the largest arms expo in the world which began in abu dhabi that the deal was announced. they agreed to by $4.5 billion in u.s. weapons including in $200 million in unarmed predator drones. this amounts to 20 remotely-piloted aircraft from a u.s. contractor. they will buy them through a middleman known as the international golden group. the state department and the pentagon remain mum on the deal which was confirmed to the fox news from u.a.e. source,. here is a press release from generalatomics an updated version of our flagship predator, predator xp offers improved intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities and has been licensed by the u.s. government to be proposed to sale to a broader customer base including customers in the
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middle east and north africa. this appears to clear the way for the sales which previously had been barred. martha. martha: very interesting, jennifer. the thinking they would be unarmed, that they would be purely for surveillance. how do you guaranty that, right? >> reporter: well, that's right. there is really no guaranty. we're told they will be sold unarmed but the export variant of the predator will not have something known as these hard connections which is really essentially an engineering, you know, is the way that you would add the weaponry to the predator. we're told that it will be deliberately engineered to make adding the weapons impossible. according to the american contractor but it is not difficult to modify this technology such as this at some point. the real reason the u.a.e. and frankly the u.s. wants the emirates to have these drones is to keep an eye on neighboring iran. the arab countries in the region are very concerned about iran's nuclear program
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and you're already seeing an arms race of sorts in the middle east as a result. martha? martha: this add as whole new layer of this kind of concern. thanks so much, jenner if. jennifer griffin at the pentagon. bill: there is a growing backlash meanwhile over the pentagon's new medal for drone operators. veterans say they have been insulted the new award is ranked higher than those who serve on the battlefield. distinguished warfare medal as it is known is ranked higher than the bronze star which is given for heroic conduct and the purple heart for troops injured in pat he will. nearly 6,000 people so far signed a petition urging the white house to demote the new medal. ten minutes past the hour now. when she was speak are he of the house nancy pelosi famously said this about the health care bill. >> we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it away from the fog of the controversy. bill: turns out a lot of what's in it is unpopular. with some of the same people who supported it.
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the true cost of obamacare for young americans. martha: and boy, blockbuster testimony this morning out of former olympian oscar pistorius about the night that he shot his model girlfriend. he has said it was an accident. he thought an intruder was coming through the bathroom window. we're going to looked at evidence in this case as reeva steenkamp's family gathers to say their final good-bye. >> unfortunately my brother couldn't make it but we all here as a family. [inaudible] hey, our salads.
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the bar harbor bake is really worth trying. [ male announcer ] get more during red lobster's lobsterfest. with the year's largest selection of mouth-watering bster entrees. ke our delicus lobster lover's dream, featuring two kinds of succulent lobster tails. or our savory, new grilled maine lobster and bster tacos. it's back, but not for long. [ woman ] our guests go crazy for lobsterfest. my favorite entree is the lobster lover's dream. what's yours? come celebrate lobsterfest and sea food differently. bill: we have the details now over what forced a boeing 787 dreamliner to make an emergency landing in japan about a month ago. an agency official saying that slight swelling was found in the aircraft's second battery. the faa has grounded all 50 boeing dreamliners now in service after incidents with
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two japanese-owned jets. it has cost the airlines tens of millions of dollars to date. martha: so is the realities of obamacare start to sink in young people it turns out will end up seeing the biggest spike in what they have to pay to get coverage. president obama of course got a lot of support from these younger voters on this because it was so popular that folks could stay on their parents plan until the age of 26 because they have those gap years after college and they would be covered but then after that year passes, when they turn 20 7:00 they're finding out they have to buy their own insurance or might have to pay a fine to make up for lower prices paid by older people. so that burden goes to younger folks to pay for some older people in our population. what about for companies? because right now it costs more than $5600 to cover an employee. that is a stark reality for a lot of companies. the penalty for not covering them is 2 thou. so you do the math and you think about how companies
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will make those decisions in the very near future and that is how it shapes up. joining me now, former new york city senator al d'amato. fox news contributor the welcome. >> good to be with you. martha: you have the two realities. you have two young people are learning about this and what the companies are learning about it. >> what they were promised is this utopian thing. your rates are going to go down. now they find companies two things are not hiring them because they have got to assume this cost or pay a penalty. they don't want to pay a penalty. so you're going to see the employment rates for these younger people, 26 and over, they're going to skyrocket. what rates have also gone up 25% and more are the rates those young people have to pay. and so some of them just aren't paying. and so, and, the companies, that don't pay get fined $2,000, what happens? the premiums for the others who are paying throughout, particularly the young people, are going higher and
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higher. so obamacare, as it relates to young people in particular, and, i would tell you most people have private insurance, they're going to see their rates continue to increase, and you know something? the sat thing is, there is no help in the future. this plan just gets worse and worse. as more of these young people migrate into that 26 year and older category. it is a catastrophe in the making. martha: basically covering everybody and all the promise that were put out there are extremely expensive that is the reality. if you have cover people that have preexisting conditions, if you cover kids until 26 it all has a cost but the administration would continue to say, look, down the road this is going to lower costs. we play go through some bumps in the phases, but they believe down the road it will lower costs. that is their argument. >> the reality of the situation flies in the face of what they're saying because the businesses are
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being charged more. insurance companies are raising their rates across the board. the young people are trapped in their situation. i have to tell you, the administration exacerbates this because they're hurting the working middle class families. they're the ones who really get hurt. and the more they push some of these other things, for example, raising the minimum wage. what you do think will take place? the very people, the small business entrepreneurs, who he says are wealthy, who employ people, they're not going to be able to hire these young people. you hit them, number one with increased costs, to hire them. and number two, you are then raise that minimum and some of these people will not only won't they hire but they're going to be laying people off. this is not a logical, it is not based on good economics. martha: there are two tracks of the way both sides are understanding reality. i mean, you know, because you listen to the president. he says, look we're starting to see the economy coming back. a lot of economists will say the same thing. the housing market is
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picking up a little bit. when that does happen you will see increased tax revenues coming in. they firmly believe that will offset the things you're talking about. >> the housing market is a disaster. sure, more people are buying houses because they're so low as it relates to, and the rates for building new houses has gone up because, it is starting out at such a low, low point. this housing situation is going to be with us for at least another six to eight years before it comes back to where we were. that's the reality of it. then again, saying, i'm helping the middle class. where are you helping them? if you raise somebody's salary to $9 that is helping the middle class? i don't see how it is? can you exist and would you say, say you made ten an hour at 40 hours. that is $400 a week. that is not middle class. so you're not helping the middle class. martha: most of those minimum wage jobs go to kids, to younger people. >> that's right.
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martha: a lot of companies said they won't do that. they won't hire younger people because they can't afford to do it. >> so you have a two-fer. you're hurting young people. you're not helping the middle class. you placed a greater burden with this obamacare, which is, and by the way, obamacare is creating immense distortions in the market and you're going to see hospitals, that is my prediction, by droves of hospitals, closing down. they are just not going to be able to make it. martha: so you're a big fan overall? >> overall i --. martha: overall he loves it. oh, my goodness. that is a tough picture. >> his political rhetoric is fabulous but if you look behind the numbers and examine it you will find it is not reality. martha: senator, always a pleasure to have you with us. thank you very much, sir. bill: one mother, her chances were one in 70 million and on valentine's day. four babies delivered in one day but there is a twist to all of this. in a moment. martha: and some serious
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allegations of voter fraud in one state. the claims are raising questions about the 2012 election. a live report on that when we come right back in "america's newsroom." stay with us.
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martha: wait until you hear this. lentine's day delivery for the mother of two sets of newborn twins? she gave birth to separate sets of identical twin boys. she has got four boys now? can you imagine? that happened in houston last thursday. she and her husband planned the pregnancy but did not use fertility drugs. the odds of such a birth naturally is one in 70 million. four boys overnight. that is a busy household. bill: sure is. there are new concerns over voter fraud during the 2012 presidential election.
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the elections board in hamilton county, ohio, home to city of cincinnati, investigating more than a dozen people, including a poll worker, who admits to voting at least twice for president obama. eric shawn is on that live in the studio. what is going on in hamilton county? >> reporter: you're old stomping ground a woman is under investigation for potentially voting as many as six times in last year's election. she is one of 19 people suspected of illegal voting by the hamilton county board of elections. she is veteran poll worker. she has done that 25 years. she admitted to a local television station she voted in person and by absentee ballot for the president. she claims to make sure her vote counted. but she insists what she did is not voter fraud. well we went to her house in cincinnati to try to talk to her. that is where the obama-biden lawn sign sat proudly out front three months after the election. our attempts to talk to her
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were not successful. richardson told a local news station that she submitted be a sent tee ballots for other people like her grand daughter. her granddaughter, wasn't angry. it wasn't a big deal she said. board of elections say voting twice is a big deal and illegal. >> it causes, it causes folks to have real doubts about the fabric of our democratic process. and it's dangerous and that's why we need to root it out at every level. >> reporter: investigators asked another person who voted twice why she did it. she answered, what's the problem? another person said he did not know why he voted twice. bill: what is being done to stop the voter fraud? >> reporter: for the first time in ohio there are public hearings on election problems statewide. the republican secretary of state has ordered all local board of elections to hear any charges of voter fraud or voter disenfranchisement. >> once the election's over and once the winner is declared everybody forgetses
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about it. i want to make sure we don't forget about it. we do essentially an audit of that process to insure we know what happened and use that evidence to guide us going forward. >> reporter: richardson is supposed to show up at a hearing at the board in cincinnati layer this week. if you suspect voter fraud where you live, there is our address, voter frau fraud@foxnews.com. bill: you've been watching this for years. thank you, eric sean in our newsroom. martha? martha: a new tax is prompting a serious backlash. why one industry is claiming this tax could cost people their lives. bill: drew peterson's last-ditch effort to free himself from jail, after a jury convicted him of killing his third wife. he is due in court only moments from now. >> can't imagine a court would say mr. peterson was denied ineffective assistance of counsel when i six lawyers. this is not one or two lawyers. he had six lawyers
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martha: olympian oscar pistorius now saying he did not intend to kill his girlfriend, and that happened, these statements in a bail hearing this morning. the double amputee known as blade runner says that he actually shot reeva steenkamp three times through a bathroom door because he thought she was a robber. he believed she came into a bathroom indo and went on a terrace and came back in. here is his quote. i'm mortified by the events and the devastating loss of my
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beloved reeva. where does all this leave us this morning with this unbelievable case? louis again era chicago defense attorney and tamara holder, a news analyst and former chicago attorney. good to have both of you with us today. he's now claiming that he stepped outside and came back in and heard the noise and was concerned that somebody had come in through the bathroom window. i don't know if he thought that she -- if he's claiming that he thought she was still in bed or in the house elsewhere, and claims that he started shooting through the bathroom door and what he believed was a robber. how does this stack up for you? >> let's take a step back and look at facts we. know that south africa high school a serious problem with violent crime, that's why oscar pistorius lived in a gated community. he had a chain-link bashe bash barbwire fence around the house. if he thought it was an intruder the question is did he act
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reasonably. did he ascertain where she was at the time so she would be safe before he opened fire. if that evidence comes before the jury they will know that he is the prominent member of the south african community second only to nelson mandella, he's a target, that's why he has that security, so it's plausible. let's see if a jury wants to believe it. martha: there is some information about a cricket bat, tamara and that there was a domestic disturbance phone all that came from the house, people heard fighting in the house. all of this would lead most people away from the explanation that we just heard. >> well that's possible -- martha: go ahead, tamara, we'll come become to you. >> before we get into talking about what a jury is going to hear. remember that he has been charged with premeditated murder. and martha, like you said there are things that are coming out that have led investigators to believe that it's premeditated. we know that she apparently cheated on him a few months prior. we know that he had discharged a
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gun a few weeks ago. we know that they had broken up and there were disturbances. these are things that are going to lead prosecutors and investigators to believe that this was pre-me premeditated. remember it wasn't just one shot through the door, it was four or three, it was more than one. after one shot that could be the reason why they are now charging him with premeditated. >> there are reports, and these are all based on reports, that her hand was shot, which leads you to think that she had her hand on the door knob that she was trying to hold herself into that room, louis, none of that looks real good for him. >> the bullet wound in the hand will play a big pivotal role in this case. the question is is he firing as an intruder, or the alternative theory is was she taken as a hostage by an intruder in the bathroom. ep fires first ahe fires first
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at the door knob. martha: if i thought my girlfriend was looked in the bathroom what robber my fist reaction would be to call the police before i started to deal with it. >> he already decided he wouldn't do that. that's why he has the chain-link fence around the house and the weapons in the home because the police are not adequate to protect him and his family. >> you just said that he's like nelson mandela. he has security also he doesn't just have a chain-link fence. it makes no sense that if you know that your girlfriend is in the house and all of a sudden she is not with you and she is in the bathroom that you're firing bullets through the bathroom door. this is the crazist thing. the worst thing that this guy did was he made a statement to the police. now prosecutors can basically poke holes or shoot holes no pun intended through everything that he says. this is the most stupid guy i've ever heard of. martha: he's saying he used the cricket bat to beat the door down. we heard that she had a wound on her head that may be consistent with being hit by this cricket
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bat. the folks on -pt defense sid on the defense side are going to have a pretty tough road. we have seen team get awa people get people get away with a lot of things before. we'll see what happens. >> drew peterson is trying to make one last-ditch effort to get out of custody. he's making a motion for new trial and says his attorney should not have put a certain witness on the stand. >> it wouldn't spies m would wouldn't surprise we if he was granted a new trial. when they called the witness to testify and he said that it was a fact that drew peterson had killed kathleen savio, it was a fact that the judge denied the prosecution's request to do the same thing. when he said i'm going to call this witness the judge said you're going to do what?
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because it would help the prosecution too much. why in the world would he call him? martha: quick thought from tamara on that. then we have to go. >> i think that drew petersen is guilty as sin, but at the same time u know, they did a terrible investigation, the prosecutors did a terrible investigation, and at the end of the day i think that his new trial is going to be denied because he had these six lawyers. martha: thank you very much. louis and tam rarbg tamara, thanks a lot, guy. bill: new calls for congress to repeal that medical device tax which kicked in at the beginning of this year. 2.3% tax that the industry claims will cost 43,000 jobs and ultimately cost patient's lives. steve ferguson is president of cook medical, the largest medical company. good morning to you. i am told you have 40 years experience in this business. what does this tax do to your business do you believe?
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>> for us, and the impact is on patients and employees, but for us it amounts to more than a 20% increase in our tax rate, our federal tax rate, because when it's 2.3 at the top when it gets to the bottom it drops down and increases our tax about 20%. for the industry as a whole it's a very small industry, in terms of the size of companies. 98% of them are less than 500 employees. 90% are less than a hundred. the average bottom line for those companies is between 3.4 and 6%. we happen to be at 10%, so we're above what the industry average is in net income. bill: have you been able to figure out how many jobs are on the line? various other companies are saying they are laying off a thousand year, 1500 there, what about you?
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>> we aren't -- we've never laid anybody out and do not intend to, but there are three things that you look at when you get additional expense, one is r & d, one is employees and one is capital. those are the three big areas, everything else is small. and what we've done is shelf -- we were going to build five plants within the midwest, each employing about 300 people. we've put those on hold because of the tax. bill: that is a same because you could have created jobs there in the midwest, the part of the country that needs it. why do you think the white house, why do you think this law singled out your industry? >> well, i think they were just looking for money, and i think they thought that we were like the pharmaceutical industry which has a few big players with large margins. as you can see the device industry is different. it's 7,000 small companies. there are some large companies and part of those are also in
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pharmaceuticals. but basically it's a small company industry, a lot of them are start-ups, so this makes them make hard choices between r & d projects and employees and makes them make tough decision taos. bill dee dee situationsdedee dee situations too. bill: you have republican and democratic senators lob toeupbg havsenators lobbying to have this reversed. do you holdout this will happen. >> we have bipartisan support in terms of sponsors on the bill between donnelly and coats, and franken, and burr, and in the house we have 128 cosponsors and bipartisan support. bill: you're optimistic. >> i'm very optimistic. with the president saying that manufacturing, could you pick
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another industry besides this industry, it's clean, high wages, et cetera and he says he wants to encourage manufacturing. bill: we'll see fit happens. appreciate your time. steve ferguson, thank you out of indiana with us today. we'll follow it. thank thank you, sir. martha: the president is expected to speak just a few minutes from now to put pressure on congress to make a move on the across the board spending cuts that congress is facing at first of the month. bret baier is with us live to get ready for the president's statement in a moment. bill: brace yourself. there is another big storm sweeping across the country, it's winter after all. the potential to affect just about everybody, though. we'll explain. two. three. my credit card rewards are easy to remember with the bankamericard cash rewards credit card. earn 1% cash back everywhere, every time. [ both ] 2% back on groceries. [ all ] 3% on gas. no hoops to jump through. i earn more cash back on the things i buy the most. [ woman ] it's as easy as...
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bill: we're hearing that authorities in yemen say a military has crashed into a neighborhood in the capitol president. 12 are deed, three women and two children among those killed pwh-t plane wenwhen the plane went down in a residential neighborhood.
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11 people hurt, houses destroyed. no word on what 'caused the kra*frpblt the pilot was on a training flight at the time. martha: a live look right now at the white house where we are awaiting president obama to address the severe budget cuts that could kick in on march the 1st. so far we are not seeing a whole loft compromise, really from either side on this issue as this deadline is looming over us across the country. joined now by bret baier, anchor of special report. good morning. >> good morning. martha: what do you expect the president to say when he walks out there today. >> reporter: i think he'll make a case surrounded by first responders and people who -p the white houswho the white house says will lose their jobs when the sequester goes into place. he'll say the republicans need to act and needs to be a balanced approach, phrases we've heard from the president many times before. he'll say that they need to act on a senate democratic plan. despite the fact, actually,
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martha, that the senate democrats while they have moved that plan to replace the sequester out of committee they did not move to it the senate floor, there hasn't been a vote on it, and there is some question about whether that plan that actually moved forward would pass the senate. so, you have this dynamic where the house republicans all -- here is the bottom line, all of the people on capitol hill, democrats and republicans believe that the sequester is a bad thing. it was set up to be this horrible thing in order for the super committee to say, oh, my gosh, we can't deal with that, we have to get our job done, and they didn't get it done. but who is going to replace it? republicans are saying it's the white house's job and democrat's job to come up with a solution and they -- republicans passed two efforts to replace it, and now the president is going to put the pressure back on republicans. martha: it's pretty
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unbelievable, isn't it? if you look at this situation, this sequester as you point out was supposed to be a knife sort of dangling over their heads. oh, my gosh that knife will be so big and scary that we will definitely get into a room and do our job because nobody wants that to happen. there is no better argument for the paralysis that exists on capitol hill than this sort of ridiculous set that up they put in place themselves and now they are terrified to have kicked in and they say they can't get together and accomplish anything. i think it's just unbelievable. >> reporter: it is unbelievable. it's important also, martha to realize how we cashing rise this sequester. it's always character raoeusd as acrosed as across the board cuts that will be devastating and draconian. it's also important to note that it is cutting the growth of spending. while that is characterized as cuts here in washington, it's still growing. for example the pentagon budget goes from 19.4% growth under the president's budget this year,
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under the sequester if it goes into effect it would still grow by 10.6%. so you're still growing even in the sequester -- martha: you have trillion dollar spending plans, $85 billion that would be cut, right? you say everybody on capitol hill doesn't want this to happen. i think there are people out in the rest of the country who look at it and go, well can't you find $85 billion to cut out of a trillion dollars in this budget? >> the key thing for law mak lawmakers and administrators at the passenger and all of these agencies is the ability to shift money around, the ability to move things in different places, and they they need that flexibility, and that's really what lawmakers need to give them, because without that it's sort of like cut w-g with a machete instead of a skap pell. skapel. many agree that they need to cut especially on the republican
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side, and many democrat agree to that today but they don't agree it has to happen like this. martha: the president says he's already agreed to huge spending cuts, they've already done that work. republicans say when you look at spending cuts they are not really spending cuts and the president also has indicated in this video that was put out last night that he's going to go after the folks that he sees as wealthy again. that he thinks that now that they've had tax increases they really also ought to have the elimination of loopholes and other ways to sort of make sure that they are paying their fair share. i don't know at what point that he will determine that their fair share has actually been paid. >> sure, remember the first time around speaker boehner came forward with close to a trillion dollars in closing loopholes and deductions. the white house didn't want any part of that, they wanted the tax rate increases. they got about $600 billion in tax rate increases in that deal for the debt ceiling deal. now coming back they would like the tax loophole and deduction
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closed for this quote unquote balanced deal to come to a deal with the sequester. now what people aren't talking about is another deadline, which is the continuing resolution. that is the funding of the government. that happens at the end of march, march 27th. so, you know, we go from crisis to crisis here in washington lately. martha: so true. >> reporter: and you may have the sequester go in place on march 1st and you may have a couple of weeks where there is this pain, and a lot of stories about what is happening, and then it all gets wrapped up in some kind of giant deal ahead of the continuing resolution. martha: we see the first responders tk hav have gathered on stage. this is a backdrop we are used to seeing in the president's appearances. these are people he think will be hurt if the sequester kicks in. our thanks to bret baier. and here is president obama. >> good morning, everybody. please have a seat. welcome to the white house.
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as i said in my state of the union address last week, our top priority must be to do everything we can to grow the economy and create good middle class jobs. that's our top priority. that's our north star. that drives every decision we make. it has to drive every decision that congress and everybody in washington makes over the next several years. and that's why it's so troubling that just ten days from now congress might allow a series of automatic, severe budget cuts to take place that will do the exact opposite. it won't help the economy, it won't create jobs, will visit hardship on a whole lot of people. here is what is at stake. over the last few years both parties have worked together to reduce our deficits by more than $2.5 trillion.
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more than two third of that was through some pretty tough spending cuts. the rest of it was through raising taxes, tax rates on the wealthist 1% of americans. and together when you take the spending cuts, and the increased tax rates on the top 1%, it puts us more than halfway towards the goal of $4 trillion in deficit reduction that economists say we need to stabilize our finances. congress, back in 2011 also passed a law saying that if both parties couldn't agree on a plan to reach that 4 trillion-dollar goal b a trillion dollars of additional arbitrary budget cuts would start to take effect this year. and by the way, the whole design of these arbitrary cuts was to make them so unattractive and unappealing that democrats and republicans would actually get together and find a good compromise of sensible cuts, as
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well as closing tax loopholes and so forth, and so this was all designed to say, we can't do these bad cuts, let's do something smarter. that was the whole point of this so-called sequestration. unfortunately congress didn't compromise, they haven't come together and done their jobs, so as a consequence we got these automatic brutal spending cuts that are poised to happen next friday. now if congress allows this meat cleaver approach to take place it will jeopardize our military readiness, it will get rid of job creating in education, and medical research. it won't consider cutting a bloated program that has out used its services. it doesn't make that
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distinction. emergency responders, like the ones here today, their ability to respond to and help with disasters will be degraded. border patrol agents will see their hours reduced. fbi agents will be furniture load. federal prosecutors will have to close cases and let criminals go. air traffic controllers and airport security will see cutbacks, which means more delays at airports across the country. thousands of teachers and e and and educators will be laid off. tens of thousands of parents will have to scramble to find childcare for their kids. hundreds of thousands of americans will lose access to primary care and pre convenient in a tiff care like flu vaccinations and cancer screenings. already the threat of these cuts has forced the navy to delay an aircraft carrier that was supposed to deploy to the
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persian gulf. as our military leaders have made clear, changes like this. not well thought through, not phased in proper lease, change properly, changes like this affect our ability to respond to threats in unable parts of the world. these cuts are not smart, they are not fair, they will hurt our economy, they will add hundreds of thousands of americans to the unemployment roles. this is not an abstraction, people will lose their jobs. the unemployment rate might tick you have again. that's why democrats, republicans, business leaders, and economists, they've already said that these cuts known here in washington as se sequestration are a bad idea. they are not good for our economy, they are not how we should run our government. and here is the thing. they don't have to happen. there is a smarter way to do this. to reduce our deficits without
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harming our economy. but congress has to act in order for that to happen. now for two years i've offered a balanced approach to deficit reduction that would prevent these harmful cuts. i outlined it again last week at the state of the union. i am willing to cut more spending that we don't need, get rid of programs that aren't working, i've laid out specific reforms to our entitlement programs that can achieve the same amount of healthcare savings by the beginning of the next decade as the reforms that were proposed by the bipartisan simpson-bowles commission. i'm willing to save hundreds of billions of dollars by enacting comprehensive tax reform that gets rid of tax loopholes and deductions for the well off and well connected, without raising tax rates. i believe such a balanced
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approach that combines tax reform with some additional spending reforms, done in a smart, thoughtful way, is the best way to finish the job of deficit reduction, and avoid these cuts once and for all that could hurt our economy, slow our recovery, put people out of work. and most americans agree with me. the house and the senate are working on budgets that i hope reflect this approach. but if they can't get such a budget agreement done by next friday, the day these harmful cuts begin to take effect, then at minimum congress should pass a smaller package of spending cuts and tax reforms that would prevent these harmful cuts, not to kick the can down the road, but to give them time to work together on a plan that finishes the job of deficit reduction in a sensible way.
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i know democrats in the house and in the senate have proposed such a plan, a balanced plan, one that pairs more spending cuts with tax reform, that closes special interest loopholes and makes sure that billionaires can't pay a lower tax rate than their secretaries. and i know that republicans have proposed some ideas too. i have to say, though that so far the ideas that republicans have proposed ask nothing of the wealthist americans or biggest corporations, so the burden is all on first responders, or seniors, or middle class families. they double down in fact on the harsh, harmful cuts that i've outlined. they slash medicare, an investment that creates good middle class jobs. and so far at least what they've expressed is a preference where they'd rather have these cuts go into effect than close a single tax loophole nor the w